WholyFit Inspirations #18

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WholyFit Inspirations #18 – by Chelsea Rounds Gold Certified WholyFit Instructor

“My WholyFit Story”

My WholyFit story wouldn’t be whole without first telling the story of my church.

I was born and raised in the same church in Warminster; a suburb of Philadelphia. It is a historical Presbyterian church. Presbyterian faith follows a traditional worship style; but as the times have changed, so has our church. As a child, we only sang hymns with an organist playing, but now we have a blended service that includes electric guitar. That being said- as far as our church has come, our church body is still not inclined to lift our hands in worship or shout out “Amen” during the sermon. Sometimes if we get a good groove in a worship song, we can be seen rocking from side to side in the pews. That’s about as expressive as we’ll get.

We’ve been blessed to have a phenomenal pastor, Pastor Mark Lyndaker-Studer, for the past ten years. Pastor Mark is a wonderful speaker, leader and listener. In terms of pastors, this one has it all. He understands the challenges that the church faces and how we must change with the times in order to not become a dying church. Coming from a background in music, his relationship is strong with my husband, Keith, who is in charge of Contemporary Music. And yes, my husband plays that electric guitar every Sunday.

When I approached Pastor Mark about starting a WholyFit class at our church in 2016, he was very receptive and supportive  to me. I shared with him the Web site for WholyFit and explained to him this ministry. I even showed him a WholyFit routine in his office. He told me that he was on board with bringing the ministry to our church but secretly, he was not sure that this was going to work. Our church doesn’t worship with their bodies and can resist change. But being a pastor that encourages us to try new things, he did not turn me down; he trusted me.

I launched my WholyFit advertising campaign within the church and quickly garnered about 50 emails from interested women. I did demonstrations of WholyFit in front of the church so they had a better idea of what we were all about. I also had WholyFit DVDs playing on my laptop during coffee hour so people could see it for themselves, rather than just hearing my description. The response was great, and I honestly didn’t think about how special it was that I was being received so warmly.

My class began in September 2016 and there were TWENTY-NINE beautiful ladies with me that night. Almost two years later the ministry is going strong with attendance varying each class, but with always a rough base of the same 10 ladies consistently attending each class.

WholyFit is a truly unique ministry within our church. We have other women’s ministries but they’re often viewed at as for the older generation. No other ministries at my church offer worshiping with our bodies. Our class ages in range from 20s to 70s of varying fitness abilities, and we’re all very connected to each other in our various phases of life.   

But the real reward is in what Pastor Mark says about WholyFit now.

 Multiple times Pastor Mark has acknowledged that WholyFit has brought new members into our church. Four new members to be exact. They came to WholyFit and we wrapped our arms around them and they came to service on Sunday. And BOOM! Before we knew it, they were in front of the church becoming members. Since then, they’ve brought their own talents and love into our church family. Stay tuned for more of these members stories in future posts.

Amazingly, Pastor Mark has become one of my biggest cheerleaders with this ministry. I’ve been told multiple times by others that if anyone goes to him questioning WholyFit, he immediately speaks up about how it’s brought new life into our church. He sees women that he’s known for years be more open with their faith, able to pray out loud and reciting scripture. He understands Jesus working in our lives and loves to see the transformation within the church.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received as a WholyFit Instructor. And perhaps part of it is because most of these ladies in this church have known me since I was crawling. But our church is thirsty for more – wanting a personal relationship with Christ and desiring deeper relationships with each other. It’s a thirst that’s quenched by WholyFit Ministries.

I’ve recently become aware that not every other WholyFit Instructor is experiencing as much support within their churches as I am with their ministries. It breaks my heart. That is why we’re promoting our WholyFit YouTube channel more, and opening ourselves up to the world. If doing WholyFit in the churches won’t bring people in, we’ll take WholyFit out and meet the people wherever they are. In a few short years, we won’t have to explain to people what WholyFit is – they’ll already know.

But the real reason why I teach WholyFit is because I’m not really the one up there doing it. Nope. I am transformed during my class, and it’s God teaching my class through me. There’s no way that Chelsea Rounds could do what she does every week on her own. Not that lady who doesn’t like anyone looking at her body and doesn’t consider herself to be a leader. It isn’t to my glory, it’s to God’s glory.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your never-ending support for us. We can always call on You in our times of need and You answer. Lord, thank You for calling us all to WholyFit – whether we are an instructor, a participant or just happened to stumble onto the Web site. Bless our WholyFit Ministry as a whole. I ask that You shower each of us with support for what we are called to do by You. We want to be Your faithful servants. Amen!

Spreading love and peace,

Chelsea

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